Philippine authorities file legal grievance towards ex-Wirecard COO

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Philippine authorities have filed a legal grievance towards people over the Wirecard scandal, together with former chief working officer Jan Marsalek, following a probe analyzing the collapse of the German funds group.

The prosecutor-general’s workplace stated in a press release on Friday that the Nationwide Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had beneficial fees towards 4 people, who additionally embody Mark Tolentino, a lawyer based mostly in Manila.

The south-east Asian nation was thrust centre stage throughout Wirecard’s implosion after the corporate claimed to have €1.9bn in money at two native banks, Financial institution of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and BDO Unibank. The fraud on the as soon as high-flying funds group unravelled final 12 months after Wirecard revealed the money didn’t exist. Wirecard filed for insolvency in June 2020.

The NBI additionally beneficial fees towards Joey Dela Cruz Arellano, Judith Singayan Pe and different, unnamed people, the prosecutor-general’s workplace stated in its assertion. Philippine investigators beneficial the costs together with BPI, which additionally introduced the grievance. 

The beneficial fees embody falsifying industrial paperwork in addition to violating the overall banking act, the cyber crime prevention act and the digital commerce act. If discovered responsible, penalties embody imprisonment of as much as 12 years and fines of as much as 2m Philippine pesos ($42,000), in response to the assertion from the prosecutor-general’s workplace.

The accusations revolve round financial institution paperwork that claimed the purported €1.9bn existed and have been proven to Wirecard’s auditor EY.

Marsalek, who German prosecutors consider to be one of many architects of the multibillion-euro fraud, has been on the run since Wirecard’s collapse and is needed by Interpol.

Prosecutor-general Benedicto Malcontento advised the Monetary Instances that the complaints allege that Marsalek met Tolentino in Manila in March 2020 along with EY and KPMG, which Wirecard’s supervisory board commissioned in 2019 to run a particular audit into its accounting.

Wirecard advised EY that Tolentino was its trustee within the Philippines, overseeing money in native financial institution accounts on its behalf. Tolentino denies having been Wirecard’s trustee and has beforehand accused the German firm of “id theft”. 

The appendix to the KPMG audit, which stays unpublished however has been seen by the FT, particulars a gathering at Tolentino’s workplace in March 2020 with representatives from KPMG, EY and Wirecard at which the lawyer reportedly stated his agency had opened financial institution accounts at BPI and BDO Unibank on behalf of the funds group. The banks have beforehand stated that they had no relationship with Wirecard.

Arellano is accused of issuing solid paperwork confirming Wirecard was holding money at BPI, for which he allegedly acquired cost from Pe and different people who stay unnamed at this stage, Malcontento advised the FT. 

Tolentino, BPI and a lawyer for Marsalek didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Malcontento’s workplace stated it might run a “preliminary investigation” over the grievance in addition to consolidate and oversee pending and future circumstances linked to Wirecard.

The grievance from the NBI follows the indictment of two immigration officers who final 12 months have been concerned in tampering with data to make it seem that Marsalek had travelled through the Philippines in June 2020.

Further reporting by Olaf Storbeck